WASHINGTON D.C. (NBC) – Help is on the way — that’s the message from Congress after the Senate and White House finally reached a bipartisan deal for a $2 trillion dollar coronavirus emergency relief bill Wednesday.
The bill sends a one-time $1,200 dollar check directly to Americans who make $75,000 a year or less.
The package also includes more than $350 billion dollars to help small businesses, $500 billion for major corporate loans, and $200 billion for “domestic priorities” like transportation, child care, seniors and veterans.
Most critically, it will provide $100 billion dollars of relief funding for hospitals, as states keep raising the alarm that they are quickly running of protective gear for healthcare workers and hospital beds to treat a rising tide of patients.
The bill also bolsters unemployment benefits and expands them to workers not typically covered, like freelancers.
It also bars businesses run by President Trump or members of Congress from receiving the aid.
A vote was expected Wednesday afternoon, but was delayed by a handful of Republican senators who argue the unemployment payments provide a “strong incentive for employees to be laid off instead of going to work” because some people could theoretically make more by being unemployed.